11th October

Brigade HQ – TERMOLI.

0645 6 Innisks reported coy change over completed.

0700 2 LIR reported enemy shelling of G Coy area. (800767) 0330hrs, otherwise no activity.

0800 6 Innisks and 1 RIrF reported all quiet.

1400 It was decided in view of the anti-British feeling apparent in Termoli and reports of Germans remaining in the town in civilian clothes to carry out a careful investigation of all men of military age and to search all houses. Interpreters were provided under divisional arrangements and 1 RIrF provided personnel for search parties and the cordon around the town. The sweep disclosed a very large number of ex-military personnel in the town and these were dispatched to San Severo. Public feeling was not apparently embittered by the investigations and the Termolese expressed great satisfaction at our business like and justified action.

Lieut TC Osborn (Cheshire) attached to Brigade HQ.

A 2 LIR patrol of Lieut Seymour and 15 men ambushed the farm house at 761781 where, it had been reported, the farmer was a well known Fascist and had been regularly meeting enemy patrols there. Unfortunately, no enemy arrived but the patrol  arrested the farmer and he was brought in and handed to divisional FSS.

6 Innisks’ patrols to 73760 on the western bank of the T Simarca and pt 88 (7722) found no suitable crossing of the river and encountered no enemy.

1 RIrF.

1100 Bttn HQ, C Coy and S Coy slightly move their position.

We were informed that the bttn would be used to round up inhabitants of the town in order that FS could investigate for suspects.

1200 CO gave his orders dividing the town up into blocks and detailing a company off to each block. Each coy wants to be divided into four groups: 1) Stops, 2) A search party consisting of an officer and two men. 3) Posse to take Italians to the Coy Report Centre, 4) Escort to take Italians to Bttn Report Centre. The adjutant was to establish a bttn consisting of I section and 2 ORs, which was to assist the FS Police and to which the coys would support when this missions were completed. The Regimental Police were established along the main road to direct escorts to the investigators.

The only incident was the shooting of a man, who threw grenades without injuring anyone.

1220 Bttn mission completed and coys return to their billets by 1730.

Thirty Reinforcements joined the bttn in the afternoon.

Died on this Day:

Fusilier Patrick O’Regan, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

6 Innisks – SAN GIACOMO.

A party of officers, NCOs and men arrived from 8 Indian Division to stay with the bttn for three days.

Two escaped British PoWs came through our lines disguised as Italian peasants and spoken highly of the help they had received from civilians. A patrol programme was started with the dual purpose of contacting the enemy and reconnoitring lines of advance for a future attack.

2 LIR.

Patrol ‘Black’ locate enemy guns reported in areas 7576 & 7876 and if possible to shoot them up.

0900 Commanding Officer & Intelligence Officer visited company areas.

0945 Brigadier at Battalion HQ.

1345 Intelligence Officer visits Company areas re defence plans.

1630 Eight civilians crossed from enemy lines were interrogated. Passed back to brigade.

1900 Patrol ‘Green’ of 15 other ranks commanded by Lieutenant Seymour set out to ambush 5 Germans reported to be meeting Italian Fascist at Farm 761781. Patrol returned at 0515/12th. No enemy turned up. Owner of Farm brought back for interrogation said that Germans had used his Farm and had been in the locality recently. They had cleared out several days previously.

British & Indian Officers and NCOs from the 8th Indian Division attached to the battalion. They are sent out to Companies for training.

12th October

Brigade HQ – TERMOLI.

0245 6 Innisks’ patrol reported enemy standing patrol at farm 760730 and another one suspected at pt 68 (7472).

0700 Bttns reported quiet night and no enemy activity.

1700 Bttns’ quiet day. 2 LIR established standing patrol at bridge 788771.

2200 Situation of Brigade front and patrol results see Sitrep.

Summary of enemy movement on brigade front 9-12 October issued

1 RIrF.

Eleven Reinforcements joined the bttn including some slightly injured during our last action.

Read Lawrie Franklyn-Vaile’s letters.

Died on this Day:

Fusilier Thomas Rourke, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

6 Innisks – SAN GIACOMO.

Heavy rain fell during the night and conditions in the coy areas were extremely unpleasant. More patrolling was carried out by night.

2 LIR.

0300 Patrol ‘Destruction’ 1 Platoon commanded by Lieutenant Bird, To patrol high ground in front of battalion, to dominate it and capture or kill any enemy that appear.

0500 Commanding Officer visited company areas.

0930 2/ic & Lieutenant Leigh (Essex Regiment) visited company areas.

T/Captain AD Woods MC & 2/Lieutenant Marmonstein posted to the Battalion.

W/Lieutenant CWL Bird admitted to hospital.

1800 Patrol ‘Snoop’ of 10 other ranks commanded by Sergeant Donaghy MM. To find guns reported in areas 7577 7477. To locate them accurately with view of destroying them later.

1900 Patrol ‘Destruction’ returned. Report of Patrol: at 0630 while lying up in area Farm 773783 A German Patrol of six men approached from the South. Ambush was laid but they turned NW in dead ground about 600 yards short of Farm. A section was sent off in pursuit but the Germans moved quickly and contact was lost in wooded area. Farms in area were searched. Owner of Farm 771781 said 7 Germans visited his Farm at 1330.

Apart from one enemy Air Burst shell in area 796763, there was no other enemy artillery activity during past 24 hours.

13th October

Brigade HQ.

0500 Situation on Brigade front see Sitrep.

0600 2 LIR reported quiet night. Patrol shot up enemy vehicle on road at 753784 and although they failed to stop it, caused considerable damage to the vehicle and wounded at least one enemy inside.

0700 Sitrep.

0730 6 Innisks reported tank cross T Simarca probably at 750739.

1000 Brigade patrol results see Sitrep.

1930 Brigade bomb line now 68 easting.

1 RIrF.

An uneventful day.

6 Innisks – SAN GIACOMO.

Further improvements to the defensive position went on daily. Reliefs took place between reserve coy in the village and a forward coy every three days. The rain has now ceased and given place to brilliant sunshine. Patrols went out again at night.

2 LIR.

0230 Patrol ‘Observation’ of 20 other ranks commanded by Lieutenant Lyness. To establish forward observation post in order to study closely the village of Petacciato.

0600 Patrol ‘Snoop’ returned./information obtained’ At 0200 hrs Diesel Truck approached down road from Petacciato. It was engaged in area 755780. one occupant believed wounded.

1130 Brigadier accompanies by a brigadier from 8th Indian Division had conference with Officers Commanding 1/RIF, 2/LIR, 6/Innisks.

1430 Commanding Officer visits company areas.

1800 Patrol ‘Observation’ returned. Report of ‘Observation’ German Patrol in area 7578 morning of 12th German truck abandoned at 757780. Presumably the one fired upon by Patrol ‘Snoop’. Observation Post at 745790. Six hours at observation on Petacciato. Light anti-aircraft fire from town. Movement in woods forward of town & at 712810. Old German OP at Farm 745785. Red shoulder strap found.

1900 Patrol ‘Blood’ of 3 Other Ranks commanded by Sergeant Johnson. To find out if Petacciato was still occupied.

Lieutenant Lyness to Brigade to make verbal report on ‘Observation’. 

No enemy activity in the battalion area during the last 24 hours. 

14th October

Brigade HQ.

0800 Bttns reported quiet night. Situation on Brigade front and results on patrols see Sitrep.

1700 Bttns reported quiet day.

1725 Situation on Brigade front see Sitrep.

Summary of enemy movement on Brigade front issued. 

1 RIrF.

A quiet day. 20% of bttn allowed into Termoli.

Read Lawrie Franklyn-Vaile’s letters.

6 Innisks – SAN GIACOMO.

Three more escaped PoWs came through our lines with a Yugoslav, who had accompanied them on their journey south. At tonight, a patrol of 7 led by Major Crocker MC plus one officer of 46 RTR went out to recce tank runs, river crossings and a bttn assembly area in 7377. Battle dress was issued.

2 LIR.

0300 Patrol ‘Black’ of 1 Platoon commanded by Major Rowlette. To dominate ground in area Ring Contour 755787 and make fwd observation.

0600 Patrol ‘Blood’ returned. Report road junction 723790 clear. Patrol lay up in wood 713800. At 2345 heard heavy transport approaching town from north. At 0115 German Patrol of 22 passed within 40 yards of ‘Blood’ in NE direction towards the sea. They were moving in file at 8 yds interval. ‘Blood moved to 710799. Nothing heard.

0800 C O to 6 Innisks.

1050 Patrol ‘Black’ some mortar bombs landed on the slopes fwd of the Convent and to its left. This was observed by E Company also.

1100 ‘Black’ reports more mortar bombs near White Farm 734794.

1200 Arty DF Ack changed to SOS Ack. 1 Sec of Sappers arrive at F Company to go out with Patrol ‘Cover’.

1400 Capt Woods MC & Lieutenant Lyness to Brigade for lecture re German Army.

1500 Patrol ‘Sweat’ of 12 Other Ranks commanded by Lieutenant Seymour accompanied by an Italian Liaison Officer. To penetrate into Petacciato to find out enemy strength and if possible make him disclose his disposition. Also to take a prisoner.

1615 Patrols ‘Black & Sweat’ meet. ‘Black’ returning.

1900 Patrol ‘Cover’ of 1 Platoon F Company to cover sappers clearing road of mines on road to Petacciato.

2000 Patrol ‘Black’ returned at 2000 hrs. Reports that two OPs were posted at OP Farm 754787 and Road House 745785. 0810 hrs two British fighters flew over Petacciato, there was no enemy A/A fire. During the day the enemy was ranging with mortars on areas road 7180 and 7278. Multiple mortar firing from behind Petacciato on 733797. Enemy shelled areas 733797 & Red House. No movement observed.

Brigade authorise rum issue for all ranks tonight.

15th October

Brigade HQ.

0800 Bttns reported quiet night.

1700 Situation on Brigade front and results of patrols see Sitrep.

1 RIrF.

A quiet day.

6 Innisks – SAN GIACOMO.

Another quiet day. Civilians began coming in great numbers requesting passes to visit their various farms. These civilian were checked but none were allowed to go forward of our positions. Another patrol, one platoon in strength went out at night.

2 LIR.

0130 Patrol ‘Cover’ returned. Sappers certified that road & verges clear of mines as far as 748784.

0300 Patrol ‘Pride’ of 2 Secs commanded by Capt Fitzgerald, plus 1 RA Officer to White Farm 750790. To dominate ground fwd to Petacciato and fight any enemy patrols. If possible obtain an identification.

0600 Patrol ‘Sweat’ returned. Report the enemy still hold Petacciato and have estimated a series of sentry posts just West of 72 Grid. Two were contacted at 713794 & 715802.

Report of Patrol ‘Sweat’. Road junction 723790 clear. Heard German voices in new village & a lot of movement including vehicles. Patrol preparing to attack bumped a sentry post on Sunken Track 713794. Sentry challenged in German and English. He ran off up road & Patrol fired on it. Patrol took up defensive positions on small ridge 200 yds South of Pt 235/7179 & fired in the direction of the enemy. This did not draw his fire.

0900 CO to brigade for conference.

1000 Patrol ‘Pride’ in area of Oblong Farm 772787. In W/T contact with E Company.

1200 Brigadier & BM at Battalion HQ.

Ensa Cinema Show in Termoli. Battalion allotment 100 seats. Artillery Air OP up and down coast tonight. Companies informed.

1500 Patrol ‘Shephard’ of 15 Other Ranks commanded by Lieutenant O’Connor. To lie up for enemy relief party seen by Patrol ‘Blood’ in area 713800 between 2345 & 0030 hrs. Also to find out as much as possible of enemy dispositions in Petacciato. Obtain an identification.

Seven Other Ranks joined the Battalion from 7th Battalion RUR.

1940 Patrol ‘Pride’ returned. Deductions made. Enemy registering possible forming up areas with mortars.

Report of ‘Pride’ no movement between Pt 103/756788 & Petacciato. One German seen in area of Station de Montenero at 0800.

2000 Patrol ‘Cover 2’ briefed for 1900 hrs is cancelled owing to non arrival of sappers.

Died on this Day:

Rifleman George Freshwater, London Irish Rifles.

Rifleman Basil Belmar, London Irish Rifles.